The BBC’s holiest prophet

Does the BBC call in someone from the MCB to write some of its news articles, or what?

The Danish cartoonist behind drawings satirising the Prophet Muhammad has urged a Dutch lawmaker to air an anti-Islam film despite Muslim outrage…Mr Westergaard’s cartoons in a Danish paper triggered riots by Muslims in many countries in 2006.

Where to begin? Kurt Westergaard wasn’t ‘behind’ all the Motoons; he drew one of them, that’s all. And there’s the unqualifed censoriousness of ‘anti-Islam film’ – the silent but obtrusive assumption that Islam should be immune from opposition. And then the usual, indeed obligatory, distortion in which the cartoons ‘triggered riots’ as if the cartoons were to blame, along with the repetition of the claim that the cartoons, plural, were Westergaard’s work. And then there’s the absence of any mention of the fact that Westergaard is under active death threat. Look at the article, look how far down the page you have to go before that little item is mentioned. Damn near the end, that’s how far. Long before you get to that, you get to more unsubtle blaming of Westergaard for drawing a cartoon.

Mr Westergaard was one of 12 cartoonists behind the Prophet Muhammad drawings, but he was responsible for what was considered the most controversial of the pictures. The caricature – originally published in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in 2005 – featured the head of Islam’s holiest prophet with a turban depicting a bomb with a lit fuse.

Islam’s holiest prophet. Got that? The BBC wouldn’t want you to miss the point, now – this was Islam’s holiest prophet that this terrible Danish fella drew a cartoon about. Not just any old prophet, but Islam’s holiest prophet. Is your skin crawling? Is your hair standing on end? Are you flushing with rage?

The cartoons were later reprinted by more than 50 newspapers, triggering protests in parts of the Muslim world in 2006.

That ‘trigger’ word again – twice in one article. You do get it, right? It’s the cartoons’ fault, and the more than 50 newspapers’ fault. No mention – I repeat, no mention – of the Danish mullahs who trotted the cartoons around various Middle Eastern countries, doing their large bit to ‘trigger’ things; no mention – not a word – about the fake ‘cartoon’ with the pig snout, which probably did more to ‘trigger’ things than the 12 cartoonists and all of Denmark combined. It was the mullahs themselves who put that cartoon in – but they don’t come in for all this scolding and glowering from the BBC. Why not? Why is the BBC in such a hurry to wag its nasty inky finger at Westergaard while letting the mullahs completely off the hook?

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